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One week post-FIRE
Old 05-22-2021, 09:01 AM   #1
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One week post-FIRE

My retirement date was May 15 so I am one week post-FIRE. I am so very tired. Not sure if it's just the 'let down' of finally getting to that finish line or what but I went from being super busy/productive at home during the last month of w*rk to feeling exhausted and sleeping a lot this week. It's like I'm decompressing - which I understand is perfectly normal.

Not sad that I FIRE'd at all but I didn't get that walk, no, skip happily, away from the office feeling either. Maybe it's working from home and only having a virtual retirement party or maybe it's just me but I have had only a few minutes of extreme joy over leaving. The big event was boxing up my laptop and dropping it off at FedEx to get mailed back to the office. Don't get me wrong I'm not sad, or missing my career or feel like I made a decision I will regret but I'm not feeling elated either.

Hoping that once I catch up on some rest and hopefully some projects around the house then I will get into a groove that feels right. I just need to remind myself that I can take all the time I need to get to that place and that sitting out on the deck with coffee in the morning, or working in the garden, or planning future trips are things I wanted to do when I retired and that it's OK to take time to get used to my new life.

Promise I'm not sad about leaving a career and the constant stress and office BS! This first week just feels different than what I expected when planning to FIRE.
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Old 05-22-2021, 09:13 AM   #2
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Normal! I was a mostly-WFH person when I ER'd (my team and boss are 8 states away, but I do have a local hub, just not the people I work with day-to-day). So, yeah my final day was also shipping my laptop.

I did plan a weekend out of town to create that breakaway moment, but, sure the first week back home there was a bit of an adjustment. Sort of... ok now what? It did feel a bit anticlimactic. But it passed pretty quickly, so just don't focus on it too much over the coming weeks and soon enough, you'll wonder why you didn't go sooner.
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Old 05-22-2021, 09:33 AM   #3
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Reminds me of college, we had quarters with a week in between. Almost always, I would get sick in the week between. I understood it to be your body is working hard during the finals week and the build up to it. Then when it is over all the shields were lowered.

If it can happen physically, it can also happen mentally.

Give yourself some time to decompress and adapt.
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Old 05-22-2021, 10:54 AM   #4
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I think it took me a year to decompress, though that timeline was probably extended because of covid and young kids. Really only now am I getting to all of the stuff I thought I would do right away.

I think taking a trip or even doing a mid week getaway soon after retirement seems like a great way to transition. That said, just getting outside once a day for a walk made a huge difference in my mindset. The earlier in the day the better, as it set me up for the rest of the day.

About a year in, something clicked and I got my mojo back.
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Old 05-22-2021, 11:14 AM   #5
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Congratulations! It may take a while but you’ll get going again when you find your purpose in retirement. Sounds a bit cliche, but even if your purpose is just hanging out I believe once you settle in to it you’ll be in great shape.
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Old 05-22-2021, 11:48 AM   #6
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So many people are working from home during the pandemic that anyone who retires now doesn't get that leaving-the-office-for-the-last-time experience that so many of us had. I remember my first Monday of retirement, and at 10AM the streets were empty. OP - as you find ways to fill your time you'll quickly get to appreciate your new station in life.
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Old 05-22-2021, 12:53 PM   #7
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I think you are having a normal reaction. Give yourself some time to decompress--read some books, sit on the deck and drink that enjoyable morning coffee, go for pleasure walks.
Plan a few easy to do projects so you have a sense of accomplishment on your retirement "to do" list, if you have one ( I did, and tore it up after about a month!)

Changes are hard, even happy, well thought out ones.
If that feeling continues for a long time, or gets worse, evaluate potential depression. But I don't think you will need too.
Enjoy Life!
You are no longer in a savings mode.
You are now in a slow spend down mode.
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Old 05-22-2021, 05:08 PM   #8
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When I first retired, I napped for about an hour every afternoon. Not intentionally, but I was just so tired I fell asleep after lunch. After a month or so my night sleeping adjusted (from 7-8 hrs/night while working to 8-9 hours / night in retirement) and I no longer napped.

My auntís partner slept 10-12 hours a day for the first three months of retirement. My aunt was worried that she was ill, but it was just her body sloughing off the stress of work.

Just go with the flow for now.
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Old 05-24-2021, 07:11 AM   #9
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Pretty much describes my experience too. COVID stopped anything but a virtual party, but we are social creatures and I felt a little cheated. Three months into retirement and the days are flying by. So no worries, give yourself time to decompress and you will soon start to have interests that give you satisfaction and you will wonder how you ever managed to find time to work.
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One week post-FIRE
Old 05-24-2021, 07:51 AM   #10
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One week post-FIRE

Each personís mix of feelings, finances and reasons for FIREing is unique, so no wonder their FIRE experience is unique, too. Maybe itís just called ďlifeĒ. Congrats, OP!

I left in July and I find itís a bit of a ramp-up to rebuild my days and weeks by adding the parts that I want to add, while avoiding commitments and obligations that I donít. So much of my days and weeks used to be dictated by w*rk stuff. Now, I see friends still in that mode and feel some pity. Then I remember that they are doing what they fundamentally choose to do, and I am, too, and the pity passes..
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:03 AM   #11
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I decompressed for six months!

Fortunately I still managed to schedule several fun trips during that time.
Retired since summer 1999.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:06 AM   #12
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Even though you knew it was coming, that last day is like a loss of sorts. It's a loss of the paycheck, the routine, the co-worker relationships, the (possibly) job satisfaction, and for many people a big portion of their identity. So nothing wrong with taking the past week to take it slow, getting used to your new phase in life. It is a change for you, although in future looking back you will be happy you made the decision.

I don't suggest what I did, although I was fine with it. I moved 1500 miles away, leaving on the very day that was my last day worked. Drove approx half a day that day. I had a big smile on my face though. I did like my job, it's just that I was looking forward to retirement more.
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Old 05-24-2021, 09:40 AM   #13
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My last day was a sad one and a happy one. After 35 years in one place isn't easy to walk away from and not be of some sort of sadness. I wish you the best time is a healer and you will find your new path in life and never look back.

I think we all know when the time has come for something new. Good Luck!
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Old 05-26-2021, 07:17 AM   #14
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I think the decompression that takes place after the final "walk out" takes different forms with each of us. My last day was on a Friday, and I kept waiting for the first time I missed going back in. I thought it would be that next Monday. Then I thought, well, it'll be after my last actual day of empl*yment (end of the month - once my vacation days were gone.) Then I called my office number at 11:58PM on my last minute and got my voice mail. 3 minutes later, it just rang and rang. I KNEW I was gone then, but it was more of a "goof" or "lark" thing to do than seeking closure or looking for a feeling. I think I was "gone" that last time I walked out. I really believe that. I've "MISSED" it so infrequently as not to be worth mentioning. Honestly, I don't even recall missing it. YMMV
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Old 06-02-2021, 11:53 PM   #15
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This sounds incredibly familiar. I retired in October 2019. It's really good, but it mostly lacks the daily jubilation one might imagine beforehand.

In fact, it gives you a lot more time to think about all your past and future problems which can be quite an adjustment. And it's also an adjustment from transitioning to the peak of your career to being a relative dolt in your own day-to-day life management.

But it sure beats the hell out of working once you stop to think about it!
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Update - now FIRE'd for 2 months
Old 07-15-2021, 08:59 AM   #16
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Update - now FIRE'd for 2 months

Thought I would give an update to how I'm feeling after being FIRE'd for 2 months. I spent about 4 weeks just sleeping and doing not much of anything around the house. During that time my old boss texted me once and I dragged my feet responding because I felt it was a work issue, turns out I was right and waiting a few days to respond seems to have gotten the message across that I am not going to be a free resource for the office.

I do not miss working one bit. Not really even the social interactions. There are a few previously retired co-workers who I have stayed in touch with over the past few years but I can see even some of those interactions fading in the future. I do not miss meetings - virtual or in person. I do not miss administrative work. I do not miss managing people. I do not miss mandatory training. I do not miss adults whining about their work or co-workers. I love having all of my time managed by me and not having to rush to get things done in the little free time I had while w*rking.

DH also FIRE'd this year so we are enjoying time sitting on the deck in the morning chatting and having coffee. I am going through the house from top to bottom getting rid of stuff. It feels great to downsize the material items a bit. Less junk to deal with = more time for my own interests. We are planning some trips for next year. We have a small garden this year. I hope to get back in my studio this winter, once I'm done gardening, and spend some time doing something creative again.

In summary I think I was just tired right after I retired and needed some time to relax completely. At this point I don't regret a single thing about retiring and I highly recommend it to all of my friends who are starting to talk about retiring themselves!
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Old 07-15-2021, 09:32 AM   #17
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Great update.

All I can add is it continues to get better with each passing day.

Absolutely love retirement!!
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Old 07-15-2021, 09:56 AM   #18
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Firstly, congratulations on your retirement.

Second, I need to hear these things. I am (possibly) 78 days away from retirement, and it is terrifying to me. I have the $, but it's just the worry that I'll miss the old way of life. On the other hand, doing conference calls for 4-7 hours a day isn't really what I'd call engaging.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:33 PM   #19
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Glad things are working out. Also glad we are not the only ones purging stuff. I retired 6 weeks ago and we have committed to getting rid of 2 trash bags worth of stuff (or boxes or whatever) a week until we get through the house. Amazing we went through the laundry room this week and can see the countertop. It looks much bigger now.
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Old 07-15-2021, 08:07 PM   #20
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I’m two weeks in. Two “Mondays” have passed. The first one was not that emancipating but the second one most certainly was. There is a fair amount of dissatisfaction amongst my former colleagues and my retirement seems to have inspired a few of them. They are looking in greater detail as to where they stand relative to pulling the trigger. In the meantime, one of my former charges who was a critical cog in the machine is electing to go else where. Between my departure, the cog’s departure, and the likelihood that three more will follow my lead before year end, things are unraveling a bit. I’ve had a few phone calls seeking advice and despite my best efforts, I’ve been a little more candid than when fully employed and toeing better the company line. One thing I’ve heard from my peers is that I made a good decision and they are jealous. Thanks to this forum and the sage advice offered, I know I made a good decision and I’m enjoying watching the mess from a safe distance.

Found I had to add some structure like organizing email, making to do lists, and setting aside time for appointments and such. I find I like the lists because I’m able to delete tasks as they are completed and that comes at a much greater frequency than when the time was confined to just the weekend. I actually get to let the paint fully dry before putting on the second coat. Next up is a three week trip through Colorado to see friends and family.

And, I’m not missing the electronic leash Known as my work phone.
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